Everything Everywhere suspends charity text skimming, but doesn't rule out complete stop

Everything Everywhere has has suspended, but not completely ruled out, taking a percentage of donations made to charities using text messages via the operators network.

Speaking to Pocket-lint, Everything Everywhere stated: “Everything Everywhere makes no profit from the Text to Donate service, passing on 100 per cent of donations to the vast majority of charities using this service – totalling more than £7 million in the past year for UK charitable organisations.

“We have a number of charity partners, including Comic and Sport Relief, Children In Need, Royal British Legion and Unicef, all of which benefit from this service.  For non-partners, who are responsible for a small fraction of the Text to Donate funds raised, we have historically passed on administrative costs. However, as part of our review, this has been suspended.

“Our review is focused on making the service even better for more charities, including a simple Gift Aid mechanism for customers.

“Through our Orange brand, Everything Everywhere created the first Text to Donate service back in 2004 and we plan to again lead the way by improving its fundraising effectiveness. Charities are estimated to be losing up to £700 million per year in unclaimed Gift Aid and through our Text to Donate service we want to help charities make the most of donations received. We believe we are close to developing such a system and will make a further announcement in due course.”

Orange, also known as Everything Everywhere, was the last operator to still profit from people giving money to charities, but has now told Pocket-lint that it has suspended this practice.

When pushed as to the ambiguity of the word “suspended”, it told us:

“The review is currently happening so we have no further information at present. As soon as the review is complete we’ll let you know the outcome.”

That review, we are told, will take days rather than weeks, but it’s strange that the company isn’t just coming out with a definite no. Skimming-off sponsorship is a lucrative business as more and more charities turn to people with phones to give money quickly and easily. We’ve all seen the “text now” adverts on the train and the TV.

The news comes just days before the Virgin Money London Marathon, the event that is considered to be the largest sponsorship event in the world.

We will keep you posted.

Photo by Flickr/joeshoe.



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